We sat down with Catie Stewart, Senior Catering Sales Manager with Levy, the caterer for The Classic Center and so much more, to find out what we should be looking forward to this year in all things meetings and food. With all that Levy and The Classic Center have to offer (and no food and beverage minimum) they're the clear choice for your meeting or event.

Q: What emerging culinary trends do you foresee taking center stage in meetings and conventions for the upcoming year?Catie Stewart headshot

 A: We are definitely seeing clients trend towards healthier food. The desire for comfort food for meals (particularly lunch) is still strong, but we’re seeing meeting planners opt towards incorporating healthy options, especially for breaks. As various dietary restrictions and preferences become more common, we’re seeing people gravitate to going ahead and providing vegan and gluten friendly proteins on chef tables in order to cut down the amount of specialty requests that come through. Gluten free is definitely the most common restriction we see, though veganism is increasing across the board as well.

Q: How can event planners incorporate sustainable and eco-friendly culinary practices into their catering options for meetings and conventions?

A: We here at Levy are very passionate about sustainability and helping with food waste however we can. We have a companywide Waste Not program and work with many local groups to ensure all donatable food goes to the right place, which both reduces waste and feeds our community.

Q: With the increasing demand for customization, what strategies do you recommend for tailoring culinary offerings to meet the diverse preferences of attendees at meetings and conventions?

A: I think one of the best things an event organizer can do to customize menus while keeping items accessible to their group is tracking across events. We work with several meeting planners who note how many show up to each function, what went quickly, what maybe wasn’t as popular. This is certainly a more time consuming method, but after a few events worth of history, it can really pay off. I’ve seen planners who know their groups so well they can predict down to the dozen-age what will work and what won’t.

Q: Why would a meeting planner choose Levy and The Classic Center?

A:  I think one thing that separates The Classic Center and Levy from other groups is our willingness to assist however we can. I’ve worked at other venues and this site has some of the most accommodating and kind employees, who are willing and able to go the extra mile every time. We provide wonderful customer service and strive to be flexible however possible. We know things can change quickly in the event field, and we try accommodate every change.

Please note all answers are Catie's own thoughts and opinions, and are not necessarily shared by Levy.